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Foundations of Mine Closure and Sustainable Transitions

Delivered by Sustainable Minerals Institute


Understand the complexity of mine closure for all stakeholders. What is left after mining activity ceases? Transforming mining economies to enable communities and other stakeholders to build a successful post mine future is a growing challenge. Regulatory frameworks are being tightened and financial instruments mobilised to secure funds to address the risks of abandonment. Greater awareness of the investor, political and social risks from unclosed mines is influencing investor markets. The Foundations of Mine Closure and Sustainable Transitions course explores the complexities surrounding mine closure and post-mining land use and establishes a foundation for enhancing the capabilities of all stakeholders involved in the process.

Upcoming courses

Delivery mode
online, self-paced
23 October 2023–11 February 2024
Time commitment
60 hours

Who should attend

Anyone with an interest in mine closure and post-mine futures.

Entry requirements

There are no entry requirements for this course.

What you'll learn

  • Demonstrate the benefits of taking a whole of business (or holistic) approach to closure.
  • Compare regulation and policy across different jurisdictions and how this relates to best practice.
  • Understand that closure planning and execution is a multi-disciplinary area – not just for environmental practitioners.
  • Explain and reflect on the significance of social performance aspects of closure for the resources sector.
  • Assess land and water management practices through asset closure and beyond.
  • Articulate the processes that ensure respectful and effective practices throughout the life of an operation.
  • Evaluate the cost of closure.

Time commitment

This is an online course that will require roughly 60 hours to complete.

  • 4-6 hours a week over a 10 week period.

Course curriculum

Gain a high-level overview of course content. 

We'll introduce you to the course team and you'll have the opportunity to meet your peers.

Here we begin by articulating the language used in the practice of closure. We discuss closure processes as part of a complex system and how to operationalise closure planning in the mine lifecycle.

We follow the closure journey of the mining industry through time and discuss jurisdictional variations and best practice guidelines and frameworks.

How to estimate closure costs including: how to value risk and closure outcomes, relinquishment and perpetual management, and what funding arrangements can underpin this.

Explore the complex, longer-term challenges in closure and considers post-mining land use options, alignment with regional development, how to transition the workforce as well as consultation, consent, and stakeholder engagement strategies.

What happens when mining activity ceases?  What happens to the mine infrastructure?  How are stable landforms created, vegetation and ecosystems established, water systems managed?

The role of Indigenous peoples in closure planning and execution. Concepts of connection to country, Indigenous business, and engagement principles.

Reflecttion on closure as a journey rather than a destination and consider what might be next against the backdrop of uncertain future environments.


There are no assessments for this short course.


Dr Elaine Wightman, Senior Research Fellow, Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Center
Dr Elaine Wightman
Senior Research Fellow, Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Center (JKMRC)


Applicant Price
Individuals A$0

This course is delivered via edX Edge in collaboration with Curtain University.

Free enrolment is available for the course.


Sustainable Minerals Institute

For more professional development options, visit the Sustainable Minerals Institute website.